**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 5:38-39
This is another example of Jesus trying to correct a misunderstanding that had been made the law of the land. Here is some information from the IVP Bible Background Commentary...
The “eye for an eye” and “tooth for a tooth” are part of the widespread ancient Near Eastern law of retaliation. In Israel and other cultures, this principle was enforced by a court and refers to legalized vengeance; personal vengeance was never accepted in the *law of Moses, except as a concession for a relative’s murder (Num_35:18-21). The *Old Testament did not permit personal vengeance; David, a great warrior, recognized this principle (1Sa_25:33; 1Sa_26:10-11).
It being common practice throughout the land, the idea of eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth had also worked its way into the nation of Israel as well. Jesus was not revealing some new and amazing truth but bringing them back to the original truth given to Moses. This makes me think of (Mat 5:17)...Jesus was not there to abolish the law but to bring us, all of us, then and now, back to the unerring perfect truth that God has given. The devil has a way of destroying the plain simple truths that God gives his people...one reason is that we like to add to it or subtract from it. Ask yourself, do I understand something that God has said His way...or mine?
If it was true that you should really only avenge or kill in matters of murder, Jesus is trying to bring the people back to a sense of nonresistance, a sense of unselfishness motivated by love for your fellow man. He goes on to explain this further in the next few verses.
I am breaking this whole thought (passage) into 3 or 4 blog entries so that I can discuss each section in detail; but, the whole passage is about one thing. Being unselfish and loving your neighbor.
Lord, please help me to be unselfish in all matters and dealing with my friends, neighbors, and even my enemies. Help me to always show you love first!
Please be with all of the prayer requests on the prayer list, especially two of them. Ryan's father is still struggling to come out of a coma Lord. I ask for a special healing to take place. May you be glorified! Second, please be with Melissa's mother who is on a ventilator and is also struggling. Lord, please heal her in a special way so that you may be glorified.
Thank you for all that you supply in my life. Lord, forgive my sins and make in my a new heart. I want so much to be less selfish and more like you. Amen.